The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) awarded John Petrila (Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute) and Jennifer Skeem (UC Berkeley) a grant to evaluate a system-wide transformation in Dallas County, Texas that will provide targeted services to justice-involved people with mental illness.  The focus is on “super-utilizers” who cycle frequently among emergency rooms, hospitals, and jails—with a staggering human and fiscal toll.

Jennifer Skeem, a Professor at UC Berkeley, and Christopher Lowenkamp, a criminal justice researcher with the Administrative Office of the U.S.

Jennifer Skeem was just named the Milton and Florence Krenz Mack Distinguished Professor in Mental Health and Social Conflict.  Her five-year appointment will facilitate her research on mental health and violence—especially the line that focuses on promoting positive development for at-risk children and adolescents.


Jennifer Skeem (UCB) and Susan Turner (UCI) were awarded $1.6M by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) to conduct a five-study that will advance policy for justice-involved people with mental illness.  In this randomized controlled trial, we will test whether and how Interventions, a cognitive-behavioral group treatment program, reduces recidivism for this population, compared to existing services in a mental health court or a day reporting center.


In May, stakeholders in education, child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice participated in a working group meeting at UC Berkeley, funded by the Zellerbach Family Foundation.  The meeting is part of a project designed to advance understanding of how and when to intervene with youth at risk for violence and involvement in the justice system.  

Congratulations to Haley Arganbright for turning in her honors thesis and presenting her results at the UC Berkeley Department of Psychology Poster Session! The key findings from her thesis titled Risk, Race, and Sentencing: Does Risk Assessment Exacerbate Disparities? suggest that risk assessment does not exacerbate any sentencing disparities based on socioeconomic status. 

At the 41st Annual Forensic Mental Health Association of California Conference, Jennifer Skeem received the William T. Rossiter award. The William T. Rossiter Award is the highest award the FMHAC bestows. This award honors an individual who has made, over a period of time, an exceptional global conribution to the field of Forensic Mental Health. The contribution encompasses a body of on-going and varied work such as clinical program development; administration; facilitating legislative changes and/or education. It must occur in state hospital, juvenile, community Forensic Mental Health or jail/prison settings.

Our lab members are excited to present three papers at this year’s American Psychology Law Society Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from March 10 to March 13.

Congratulations to our amazing lab manager Orly Bell for being accepted into David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for Fall of 2016 on a full ride scholarship! We will miss her tremendously, but we wish her the best of luck and can’t wait to see all the great things she will do in the future.

A big congratulations to Leah Jacobs! She will begin her tenure- track position as an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh in Spring 2017.